Justin Theroux joined fellow members of his Greenwich Village co-op in court Thursday in a bid to boot their “nuisance” neighbor from the building — the latest chapter of an ugly legal saga between the actor and a real estate lawyer who lives in the floor below him.
Theroux, 52, and the rest of the co-op board are urging a Manhattan judge to order Norman Resnicow and his wife Barbara evicted after what the “Mulholland Drive” actor called a campaign of harassment that erupted in 2015 when he and his then-wife Jennifer Aniston began a $1 million renovation on his second-floor apartment.
“This is a fairly cut-and-dry case. Their time at the co-op has come to an end,” Joshua Kopelowitz, a lawyer for Theroux and his fellow board members at 71 Washington Place, said during the Manhattan Supreme Court hearing.
“Let’s not pretend that things are going to change,” Kopelowitz said as Theroux looked on in a black T-shirt, black overcoat and jeans from the first row of the gallery, flanked by three other members of the eight-unit co-op and with the rest of the residents watching from a remote video feed.
“They will not, and these people shouldn’t have to live like this,” Kopelowitz added, gesturing at Theroux and his fellow co-op board members.
Among Theroux’s lurid allegations in a 2017 lawsuit was that Resnicow, who lives with his wife on the building’s first floor, trespassed on the actor’s property, peeped into his windows and killed the ivy that grew on their shared roof terrace — simply because he knew Theroux liked the plants.
Resnicow, meanwhile, claimed in his own 2017 suit — filed shortly after the finale of Theroux’s HBO show “The Leftovers” — that the actor’s accusations are “as fictional as the television series in which he recently starred.”
The courts have largely ruled in favor of Theroux.
In August, a separate Manhattan judge found that the actor has “established as a matter of law” that Resnicow’s behavior towards him amounts to a “private nuisance.”
The ruling paved the way for the actor to potentially be awarded damages at a trial where he is seeking $4.58 million.
Thursday’s hearing came as part of separate litigation filed by the co-op board in February 2022 aiming to oust the Resnicows from the building.
Theroux and his fellow board members also want the couple to pay the cost of the board’s legal fees during the years-long building brouhaha.
Resnicow’s lawyer Peter Levine, meanwhile, paced around the courtroom Thursday and gestured aggressively with his hands while claiming the case should be tossed.
He argued that the board has violated its own procedural bylaws because its “secretary” had not specifically notified Resnicow and his wife that the board planned to boot them.
But Judge Joel Cohen appeared less than convinced.
“Counsel, what was the purpose of the notice requirement?” Cohen asked the attorney.
“To get notice,” Levine replied.
“And did your clients get notice?” the judge then asked.
“That’s irrelevant!” Levine responded, raising his voice.
The judge then appeared to roll his eyes.
Levine also said that Theroux at some point sent an email about Resnicow in which he threatened to “blow his head off with my lawyers.”
“Justin hates Norman,” Levine added, extending his index finger dramatically toward Theroux as if he was a prosecutor making his case in front of a jury.
Kopelwitz, the attorney for Theroux and the board, accused Resnicow during the hearing of interfering with the board’s approved work on the building’s roof — and telling the workers that Theroux was his “arch enemy.”
“Who says ‘arch enemy’? Who lives in a building and says ‘arch-enemy’?” the lawyer said.
“When we look at this with clear eyes, the co-op board has a right to have a community,” Kopelwitz added.
A Ray-Ban aviator sunglass-wearing Theroux declined to comment on his way out of court.
Resnicow also declined to comment.
The judge said he would issue a written ruling on the matter at an unspecified later date.
By Ben Kochman